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Elearning: The Present and Future of Corporate Learning Space
April 27, 2022
Call it Covid Impact or smartphone savvy Generation Zoomers, the way, method, and medium of learning and training has undergone a 360-degree change. From classroom learning to technology-enabled distant remote education and training, the paradigm shift is hard to miss. And not leveraging upon its innumerable perks will be a fallacy, more so a potential learning as well as upskilling loss to corporates and the workforce. This knowledge gap can have several impacts, from irrevocable errors to customer dissatisfaction, to reputation goodwill and ultimately market value.
Given the complex business environments, can dynamic organizations afford to miss the cost-effective scalable eLearning? Most definitely NO. L&D teams at corporates are taking cognizance of this fact and investing in Elearning to keep their employees on top of the skill matrix.
What is Education Technology: Elearning, Gamification, Simulation and much more
For thousands of years, educators have been devising ways to get their learners to comprehend ideas through other means than just words. Edtech precisely does that. It builds upon this thought-provoking concept of bringing in more means to impart learning and here the means is “usage of technology”.
And what do we achieve for our companies and the workforce by making use of technology, in imparting training? Well, you will know as you scroll further, you will agree that the benefits outweigh the challenges by leaps and bounds. At the top of the charts, it makes learning more inclusive, individualized, immersive, engaging, and fun. The shift from instructor-driven classroom learning to device-based self-paced learning has been the biggest disruption. This technology can be using apps or tech devices or logging into a Learning Management Platform, L& D professionals can keep an exact tab on the skill meters of their employees. The process of integrating technology into training to curate real and relatable experiences for the trainer as well as the learner is resulting in better productivity and higher learning outcomes as well as better ROI for the stakeholders.
Elearning: Then to Now
E-Learning has evolved in different ways in the education, business, and training sectors, and it has different interpretations for different sectors. At the school level, e-Learning refers to a learning process that uses both software-based and online learning tools, whereas, in business, training, and higher education sectors, e-Learning solely refers to online learning.
Elearning has been in the business for over two decades for adult learners. Somewhere in the 2000s concept of Elearning started developing. From using PowerPoint tools, organizations started adopting newer learning objects like SCORMSs, LMSs, educational videos, etc. Post-2005 the sector started maturing. The added benefits of advancing technologies along with the perks of lesser investment and no geographical boundaries changed the way learning happens. The introduction of methodologies like podcasting, mobile Internet, learning analytics, and augmented reality created a boon for the online learning niche. EBooks, mobile learning, Cloud computing, user-created content, and educational gaming were some of the other notable developments in this 2006 onwards period.
As we progressed the entire focus shifted to users’ experience - self-paced easily digestible content, emphasis on micro learning, remote and distance learning, more engaging, and more immersive in nature. Today organizations are heavily investing in these advancing technologies for a 360-degree outcome - employee’s productivity and performance, organization credibility, and revenue impact.
Gamification & Simulations
Taking ELearning to another level, a giant leap from conventional eLearning where learning was imparted through modules, Gamification completely shifted the focus of learning on the learner. Making learning more immersive, engaging, and relatable Gamification is the usage of simple & complex activities in the form of gaming formats that make the learner act. Pre-Gamification stage, quizzes, polls, and assessments were integrated into modules and learners would take them interim or at the end of it, making the eLearning module predictable and borderline boring. In gamification moving from quizzes and polls, gamified scenario-based story-based simulations are catching the fancy and attention of the learners. Gamification is usually created to check or drill key concepts rather than a complete module that is still best done through e-learning.
Let me explain this with a BFSI industry example.
If the Business team requires a training module on “Credit Evaluation” for its new joiners, first an e-learning module can be created with the key concepts: Five Cs of Credit, Borrowing Basics, How to assess income for Individuals and Corporates, Ratios, etc. to impart the knowledge related to the topics. Subsequently, gamified assessments can be created to check the application of the concepts learned in the e-learning module. These can be simple quick-fire question rounds or case studies where the learner has to evaluate the risk for every borrower.
Gamification has very engaging elements like creating stories. Stories since time immemorial have appealed to humans, stir their emotional chords and they feel connected. Learners feel as if they are on a journey as if they are the pilots for this joy learning ride. Also, the usage of interesting characters, avatars, and elements of visual design takes the user experience to another level. Vivid colors and interesting graphics with continuous engagement create an extremely visually stimulating experience for the designers as well as the learners.
Gamification has the option of leaderboards so that learners can see how they are performing vis a vis their peers, now who doesn’t enjoy a bit of healthy fun and competition. There are multiple levels that can be introduced to motivate the learners to finish simple basic tasks and move to complex ones. Exactly how we have in Fun Games. And the most interesting aspects are the rewards and badges at the end of the assessment, which can be unlocked once a step or level is completed. On-the-spot feedback on performance with the time taken to complete and where you stand with respect to your peers make the complete experience of wanting to achieve more, in turn, learn more. A win-win scenario for employees as well as organizations. What else could L&D teams possibly want, self-motivated eager to learn workforce.
Why should L&D professionals take notice of Edtech & Elearning?
Impact on Employees & Organization Image
One of the most popular corporate learning trends of 2021 has been Gamification. It has not only improved employees’ productivity but also made an impact on their morale and motivation. Adult learners especially millennials and Gen Z resonate better with tech-enabled self-paced learning with inbuilt- scoreboards and high UX/UI interactivity and look forward with enthusiasm to solve.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do," Steve Jobs once stated. Gamification, on the other hand, makes employees’ employment more enticing and less stressful. Employees are motivated to achieve more when they receive immediate rewards, frequent surveys, and timely recognition.
From an L&D perspective, it allows the team to build a robust in-house learning journey for capability building for their employees. LMS can be monitored, and courses may be assigned as per Training needs identified. L&D teams can keep a check on the progress and ensure the learners are completely trained.
The world’s best places to work, companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc. are heavily investing in Elearning and Gamification. Closer home, top Indian banks like ICICI, HDFC, and Axis are looking at L&D with a completely new lens. By giving employees 24*7 access to online training and self-paced learning modules, they feel motivated to improve their on-the-job performance. They can also pinpoint areas they may need to work on and find out their core strengths so that they are able to become better employees and more informed patrons of the brand.
Impact on Training Costs
An online training platform, an LMS with e-learning modules, simulations, and gamified assessments may be a one-time cost for an organization however over a period has better ROI and reaches its breakeven much faster than conventional instructor-led training programs. Massive costs of stationery, printing costs, and logistics have drastically come down with the shift to Elearning. Also, Elearning can be applied to all kinds of training, modules, gamification, and scenario-based simulations can be created for various verticals and roles. From Customer Service to Sales, Technical as well as Behavioural Training, New joiners’ induction to high-level leadership programs, all kinds of training needs can be met through Elearning.
Over the last decade, technological advancements have taken place in the field of e-learning. These include the application of information and communications technology (ICT) in classrooms and the use of cloud-based platforms, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR). The e-learning market in India has valued at INR 91.41 Bn in 2020. It is expected to reach a value of INR 312.13 Bn by 2026, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ~17.60% during the 2021 – 2026 period.
According to eLearning, 80% of American workers believe that learning through games is a more exciting type of education. Companies have also discovered that including games in their training plan enhances productivity by 50% and employee engagement by 60%. Furthermore, 79% of employees say gamification has enhanced their motivation and a sense of purpose at work.
Trends to watch out for
Big Data, IoT (Internet of things) Machine learning were the biggest trendsetters of 2019 for the Edtech space. However, with the pandemic sweeping the world, COVID 19 transformed the way we trained and learned. Distance and Remote learning over digital platforms were the game changers in order to comply with social distancing and ensured learning, training, upskilling went on.
In the next blog watch this space for the Current Educational Technology Trends of 2021-2022.
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Team - Wagons Learning Pvt Ltd
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